Lakers worry Lonzo Ball's camp leaked knee injury so he wouldn't get traded, report says

In the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball with the No. 2 overall pick. It wasn't much of a surprise to anyone by the time the draft rolled around, certainly not LaVar Ball, who said he would speak such a thing into existence. And when a prediction that incredible comes true, you'll do pretty much anything to keep it a reality. 

As such, it's of little surprise that the Lakers may believe it was Lonzo's camp who leaked the report of his knee injury being a torn meniscus that may require surgery. On a recent episode of his podcast, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers didn't want anyone to know that Ball's injury was this serious. As transcribed by Silver Screen and Roll: 

"That knee, the meniscus injury that could require surgery, I know this: The team didn't want that information out, and I don't believe intentionally, at least from upper management, there were a lot of teams who wanted to do trades with the Lakers or were trying to figure out if they might be in a position to, they were trying to figure out what was going on with that knee.

"I don't think the Lakers wanted anyone to know, and I think there is a belief around there that that information was put out there from around Ball's sphere to keep from getting traded, because if teams knew he was having knee surgery they're not trading for him. I think there was concern there that he might be put in a deal."

Now, teams have to disclose medical information ahead of potential trades, so it's not like the Lakers were trying to get one over on a team by dealing an injured player. However, it's certainly understandable that knowing a player is already dealing with knee injuries after just one season would make teams more hesitant to even engage in trade talks. Of course, by "team(s)", we're really talking about the San Antonio Spurs in this specific situation, but the point stands regardless. 

The report about Ball's injury came before the Lakers were able to acquire LeBron James, and "The King" has reportedly told the Lakers that he's excited to play with the young point guard. So at this point it seems as though Lonzo is safe. Still, it's understandable why the Lakers would be a bit annoyed if this were, in fact, another case of antics from the Big Baller world. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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